Impressive rugby firsts dismantle Leeds Met

BUCS Northern Conference 1A

Images: Philippa Grafton

A hat-trick of tries from Will Sharp helped the men’s rugby firsts on their way to recording a dominant 35-13 victory over Leeds Met on 22 Acres this afternoon.

It was an impressive display to earn a second win of the season for the White Rose, banishing memory’s of their meeting here a year ago when York threw away a 17-0 lead to lose 17-20.

The visitors began brightly, putting the pressure on York in the first few minutes, with some incisive play from their left winger culminating in a massive ruck on the 5m line.

York hit back strongly though, and were camped in the Leeds Met 22 until Sharp finally opened the scoring. A scrum on the 5m line saw the ball worked out to Sharp on the left and he went over in the corner. A perfect conversion from Tom Chadwick made it 7-0 to the hosts.

Just a few minutes later, they extended the lead. Sharp broke away down the left flank, offloading the ball to Conan Osborne, then Tim Ross, who set up Hugo Watson to run in under the posts, with Chadwick again adding the extras.

Straight from the restart, Leeds Met reduced the deficit with a well-taken penalty, but York held firm for the next ten minutes, making sure the visitors were unable to build any momentum.

With Leeds Met pressing, Sharp produced a moment of magic to add his side’s third try. Picking up the ball inside his own 22, the York winger sprinted the length of the pitch past a series of despairing challenges to score.

However, they were immediately pegged back again thanks to another huge penalty kick, making it 21-6 to the home side. And, with half-time fast approaching, Leeds Met managed a try of their own as a lineout on the York 22 eventually resulted in their winger going over in the far corner.

With the extras, the half-time score was 21-13.

That try late in the first half did little to quell York’s determination, as they started the second period positively, though without creating too many clear openings.

That changed midway through the half, as the White Rose pressure finally proved too much and Watson was able to stumble over the line. Chadwick’s exemplary kicking left York 28-13 up with 20 minutes to play.

The final try 10 minutes from time gave Sharp his hat-trick, collecting Chadwick’s pass to slice through the Leeds Met defence with ease. At 35-13 the game was as good as over.

All that remained was for York to hang on to their lead, which they did largely due to a superb performance from the forwards, who were imperious throughout.

York captain Adam Gaskell, standing in for the injured Sam Lord, commented, “We’re really pleased, obviously. We put right a lot of what we got wrong last week (in the defeat at Bishop Burton) and the forwards gave a really good platform for the backs, and they converted really well.”

York: Burd, Draycott, Kirkley, Pampiglione, Gaskell (C), Thorpe, Ross, Woods, Cormack, Chadwick, Sharp, Watson, Powis, Duncan, Osborne. Subs: Paton, Nangle, Ward, Peters

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